Woburn

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Woburn (pronounced woe-burn and meaning twisted or crooked stream) is a village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England. It is situated about 5 miles (8.0 km) southeast of the centre of Milton Keynes, and about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of junction 13 of the M1 motorway and is a tourist attraction.

Woburn was first recorded as a hamlet in 969 and is found in the Domesday Book of 1086. It is best known as the location of Woburn Abbey (a stately home), founded by Cistercian monks in 1145 and bequeathed to the first Earl of Bedford in 1538 after the dissolution of the monasteries, and Woburn Safari Park. Woburn has been burned down and rebuilt three times. A mediaeval chimney fire spread due to the prevalence of thatched roofs and closely built houses. Then, during the English Civil War, the Cavaliers burned down much of the village and in 1724 a third fire destroyed much of the town, which was re-built in the Georgian style that remains today.

During the nineteenth century, Woburn was an important staging post on a nationwide coaching network. The town had 27 inns and the first 24 hour post office outside of London. However, with Woburn Sands and not Woburn being selected for a railway station, Woburn’s importance attached to its strategic location decreased. The population fell from 2100 in 1851 to 700 about a century later.

Woburn is a residential village and tourist attraction. Aside from Woburn Abbey and Woburn Safari Park, tourists visit Woburn’s Georgian centre and the Woburn Heritage Centre local history museum. Woburn hosts a popular Oyster Festival on the first weekend of September every year attracting thousands of visitors. Every April the local art gallery also organises ‘Art Beat’ for the promotion of local original art. Facilities for residents include a heated outdoor swimming pool open in the summer months, the Village Hall, St. Mary’s Church and Woburn Lower School. Woburn also has a monthly Farmers’ Market on the third Sunday of the month organised by the Village Traders.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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